Subs and Stuff One-Bite Reviews - Click a Sub to See the Rating

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Carmella's Market - East Boston

Carmella's Market
The interior of Carmella's Market seemed too good to be true. The wood paneling on the walls matched the trodden wooden floors. The dual meat slicers prominently placed on the counter in front of a close up of a caprese sandwich had me dreaming of a meat mecca where subs are the currency and the fattest men are the richest of them all. This dream seemed even more unreal with the scattered, empty shelves and the small, laminated menu placed far behind the counter. Frankly, I could not tell if this was a bare-bones, Italian speciality mecca a la J.P. Graziano's  or a front for some far dubious pursuits.

Thank you, Mayor Menino.
With only one employee behind the counter at 3:00 PM on a Thursday, the other employee out making deliveries, there was a considerable wait for service behind one other customer. After a good ten minutes, I placed my order for an Italian with everything. I had the pleasure of admiring the old-time trinkets on the walls as I waited for my sub, hand-sliced to order on locally baked bread. As watched the lovely lady slice the salami and mortadella with precision, the owner of the joint returned to ask me if I wanted chips and a drink with the sub for a bargain $1 more. For $8.50 an Italian with chips and a drink is a good deal anywhere in Boston. The seating in Carmella's in limited, so I bellied up to the patio-style table to the right of the cashier to begin my feast.

Carmella's is a textbook Italian sub. It has everything you want including thinly sliced meats and cheeses, soft bread with a good crust, spicy hots, and tangy toppings. Yet the ratio of these ingredients are a bit off: too little meat, too many toppings. A few more slices of meat and cheese, and this sub moves into the 8-range easily. As you can see in the video, I had to digitally remove some of the excess toppings to really enjoy the essence of the sub. The sub and I both had our juices flowing, and this sub has the distinct, orange juice that all great Italians possess. In fact, the owner seems to expect this, and he brought me napkins as I ate. It was at this point he realized I was filming myself eat, which he likely did not expect. His face demonstrated a unique mixture of surprise and fear that one has upon realizing a customer is filming himself eat a sub, alone, at 3:00 PM on a Thursday.
Peep the orange juice -- the stuff dreams are made of. 
Although I had my doubts about the legitimacy of Carmella's, it is certainly an Italian market and deli with an excess of space and meat slicers. With all of the extra machinery, one would think they would throw some meat on that trick, but instead, the toppings dominate. The quality of ingredients and hospitality of staff is here, but the execution on the Italian falls just short. Though it is not a dream come true, it is still a good choice for a sub if you find yourself around Jeffries Point, mid-afternoon, on a Thursday.

Carmella's Market
86 Cottage Street
East Boston, MA 02128

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  1. Replies
    1. It did have a lot of juice, but the bread held up well. Not very soggy in the end.